Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing

PAD-79-70A: Published: Sep 1, 1979. Publicly Released: Sep 1, 1979.

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One line of effort of the Evaluation Guidelines and Methodology issue area is identifying and developing methods to improve the conduct of Federal evaluation studies. Among other tasks, this involves conducting studies which focus on an identified need and potential methods to satisfy it. Much of the value of these studies lies in their survey nature. A potentially useful off-the-shelf method available for use by GAO is the technique known as computer-assisted telephone interviewing (CATI). Application of the CATI methodology may afford GAO some benefits in timeliness and data reliability. CATI systems facilitate speedy data collection, enable more complex telephone interviews to be used, impose more stringent quality control levels, and increase data reliability. However, these advantages are not without some penalties. More interviews may be necessary to save time on large samples, and CATI costs considerably more than mail surveys but less than personal interviews. CATI also requires considerable computer programming support and software development.

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